Monday 9 September 2013

Summer's last hurrah

The long summer seems finally to be coming to an end, in these parts anyway. Time, then, to celebrate it with a wash up of some Lepidoptera seen on holiday in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly last month.
Clouded Yellow never perches with the wings open but this pair were attempting to mate near The Lizard (the 2nd individual can just be seen behind the leaf). By focusing in the right area and setting a high shutter speed I was able to catch the open wings as it flapped.
An even luckier shot of a Clouded Yellow in flight
A more typical view of Clouded Yellow
Clouded Yellow
A small proportion of female Clouded Yellows are of the rare white form helice - this one was on Peninnis Head, St Mary's. While superficially similar on the underwing, the difference becomes more obvious in flight - see Nick Hopper's excellent open-winged shot here on the Portland Obs post for 29th August. 
Hummingbird Hawkmoth, Kynance Cove
Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary between The Lizard and Kynance Cove
Wall, The Lizard
Wall, The Lizard
Small Copper was one of the commonest butterflies on Scilly during August
Common Blue were also plentiful
And, to come full circle, another stunning Clouded Yellow, this one of 20+ on St Mary's in the short walk between Porth Hellick and the airfield.

On the subject of the airfield, the landing strip on St Mary's is pretty small: as you can see, barely room to swing an Otter.